A look at surface-to-air missilery worldwide: covering both shipborne and land-based systems.
Covering Both Shipborne and Land-Based Systems
Used in combat for the first time during the Vietnam War, the surface-to-air missile emerged from that campaign with a low reputation. Although many US warplanes were downed by missiles, only a tiny fraction of the total number of surface-to-air missiles scored kills. The "SAM umbrella" under which the Egyptian and Syrian armies operated during the 1973 Yom Kippur War saw a modest improvement in kill rates, although these still remained an order of magnitude below brochure figures. Not until the brief Falklands conflict of 1982 did the surface-to-air missile really emerge as an effective weapon, but even there it proved no panacea for the problem of stopping air attacks.
Heavy and Medium SAM Systems
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the important type of surface-to-air missile (and for a while the only type) was the heavy long-range weapon devised to deal with high-altitude targets. Still an important class of weapon in the Soviet Union, it is slowly being abandoned by other nations.
China's CPMIEC HQ-2J (CSA-1) is obviously based on the obsolescent Soviet SA-2, and is still being offered for export in its latest HQ-2J version. In the early 1980s, Egypt was reported to be planning to develop an improved version of the Guideline. Production of the Arab-British Dynamics Early Bird was due to have begun in 1985, giving Egypt for the first time surface-to-air missile coverage at altitudes up to 28000 metres, but absence of recent news suggests that this scheme proved over-optimistic.
The most powerful surface-to-air missile currently offered for export by the Russians is the SA-5 Gammon, which plays a major part in the Soviet air-defence system. Known to the Russians as the S-200, this is reported to exist in three forms - the conventional-warhead SA-5A, the nuclear-armed SA-5B, and an improved SA-5C model first fielded in 1975 and thought to exist in nuclear and conventional forms. A version fitted with an anti-radiation seeker was probably deployed in 1983. Given the poor combat record of the SA-5 in Libyan service, countries such as Syria are reported to be showing interest in two more modern Soviet systems - the SA-10 Grumble and SA-12 Gladiator. Both are vertically launched.
The SA-10A system first deployed in 1980 was a fixed-site system. Like the American Nike-Hercules, it could be transported to another location, but this was a major operation. The newer SA-10B is based on eight-wheeled vehicles. The radar vehicle carries a large planar-array antenna, while each transporter/erector vehicle carries four ready-to-fire rounds in tubular launcher/containers.
The SA-12A Gladiator is a replacement for the old SA-4 Ganef. Like the SA-10B it is mobile, but in this case tracked rather than wheeled vehicles are used. Each of the transporter/erectors carries two missiles, while the system radars are located on two separate vehicles. The SA-12B system carried the NATO code name Giant, and offers longer range plus a degree of tactical anti-ballistic missile capability.
The current NATO medium surface-to-air missile is the Raytheon MIM-23B Improved Hawk, a system which first entered service in 1972. For more than a decade a series of upgrade projects have maintained the weapon's effectiveness, reliability and maintainability in NATO service. Under a project known as PIP II, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Greece, West Germany and the Netherlands are updating the system's high-power illuminator radar, and may install the Northrop-developed electro-optical tracking system which was retrofitted to US Army and Marines Corps Improved Hawk units and selected by other export users including Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait. The Hawk M3 programme started in 1988 under a consortium consisting of MBB, Thomson-CSF and Selenia will increase ECCM capability, while the US Army is currently incorporating the recently devised Phase III improvements which enable the continuous wave (CW) illumination radar to detect targets with a single scan, and adds a fan beam to the high-power illumination radar to allow multiple engagements against saturation raids. Other Phase III modifications allow US Army Hawk systems to accept tactical data from the newer Patriot system.
A new Raytheon programme is aimed at improving mobility and reducing the number of vehicles in a firing unit from 14 to seven. Changes include the development of a new Agile Continuous Wave Acquisition Radar (ACWAR) able to replace the current high-altitude pulsed acquisition radar and low-altitude continuous wave acquisition radar. This follows the lead set by the NOAH (Norwegian Advanced Hawk) scheme in which six Royal Norwegian Air Force batteries use the Hughes LASAR radar and a Kongsberg Vapenfabrikk fire distribution centre (a combination known as the Acquisition Radar and Control System) in place of the normal search, acquisition and ranging radars.
Raytheon is currently building the MIM 104 Patriot under a five-year production contract awarded in 1987 following eight years of annual purchases. Intended to replace both the Improved Hawk and Nike Hercules, the Patriot had a protracted development, and its cost effectively rules out its deployment as a one-for-one replacement for the Improved Hawk. The Patriot and its revolutionary Track Via Missile (TVM) guidance system were originally developed to counter air-breathing targets, but the last five years have seen significant development efforts aimed at giving the system the ability to counter tactical ballistic missiles. Anti-tactical ballistic missile demonstration firings started in 1986, and this year could see the start of flight tests of the Advanced Tactical Patriot being developed by the United States and West Germany. This is expected to have a better ground radar, larger rocket motor and a new AEG K-band active-radar seeker.
At first sight, Taiwan's Tien Kung I missile might be mistaken for the Patriot, but this recently developed weapon uses semi-active radar guidance in the final stages of flight rather than track-via-missile (TVM). It operates in conjunction with the Chang Bai phased-array radar, and is probably in the performance class of the US Navy's Aegis system. The addition of a tandem booster creates the longer-ranged Tien Kung II, which is being developed as a Nike Hercules replacement. Work is already under way on the ramjet-powered Tien Kung III.
Until recently, active-radar seekers were too heavy and power-hungry for most missile applications. Modern technology allowed a seeker of this type to be successfully used on the Hughes AMRAAM air-to-air missile, a round which forms the basis of the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced SAM System). This combines the target-acquisition system used with Norway's Improved Hawk missiles with box-launched AMRAAMs.
The SA-3 Goa (Soviet designation S-125 Pechora) is effectively the Warsaw Pact equivalent of the Hawk. It first entered service in the early 1960s, and was used on a large scale during the Vietnam War. A quarter of a century later, the SA-3 still plays a significant role in the Soviet air defence system, and serves with around 25 export customers.
The most important Soviet semi-active radar-guided SAM is the SA-6 Gainful (Soviet designation ZRK Kub), which still serves with the forces of the Soviet Union and more than 20 export customers. By the 1980s, this veteran weapon was showing its age, so the Soviets began to convert existing SA-6 units to the improved SA-6B Mod 1 specifications. This involved each missile battery trading in one of its SA-6 fire units for an equivalent SA-6B vehicle. Originally developed for the newer SA-11 system, this carries the ready-to-fire missiles, plus a tracking radar. This gives each SA-6 battery a second tracking radar to supplement the normal SA-6 Straight Flush radar, now allowing each battery of four three-rail launch vehicles to engage two targets simultaneously.
Field trials of the SA-11 Gadfly started in 1978/79, and its deployment followed in the early 1980s. Designed to replace the SA-6, it overcomes the latter's tactical limitation of having only a single tracking radar for every four launch vehicles. Similar in general appearance to the US Navy's Terrier/Standard, this rocket-powered missile retains semi-active radar homing, but is based on an ECM-resistant monopulse seeker. A single tracked chassis carries a tracking radar plus a four-rail launcher. Each Gadfly regiment has five batteries, each with four launcher vehicles and a single radar vehicle.
Naval SAM Systems
The latest US Navy medium and heavy surface-to-air missiles are the General Dynamics Pomona/Raytheon RIM-66C (medium-range) and RIM-67B (extended-range) Standard 2 missiles. These were installed on Leahy and Belknap class cruisers and Farragut class destroyers as part of the New Threat Upgrade programme which improved the ship-board radars and weapon-control systems of these vessels during the mid and late-1980s. Since August 1987 Raytheon has been developing the Block 4 missile. This has a short tandem booster with thrust-vectoring control, making the round better suited to vertical launch from CG-47 cruisers and the new Arleigh Burke class (DDG-51) missile destroyers.
On these vessels, and on earlier CG-47s fitted with conventional mechanically trained Mk.26 dual-purpose Standard/ASROC missile launchers, the Standard 2 forms part of the RCA Aegis system. Based on the SPY-1A phased-array radar and Mk.99 fire-control system, this is designed to detect incoming missiles at long range, tracking and engaging multiple targets even under intense jamming in order to protect US Navy battle groups against co-ordinated saturation attacks by enemy aircraft or anti-ship missiles.
Despite the accidental downing of an Iran Air Airbus by the cruiser "Vincennes" in the summer of 1988, the system's reputation suffered little damage, the incident being blamed on human error. Japan became the first export customer for the system when it chose the vertical-launch version of Aegis to arm up to eight planned 7200-tonne missile cruisers. The Standard 2 differs from other semi-active radar missiles in that the missile carries an inertial reference unit. After launch, the round can fly to the vicinity of the target under inertial control, receiving updates as necessary via the transmissions of the SPY-1A radar. This feature frees the Mk.99 fire-control system of the need to illuminate the target until the final homing phase of the attack, allowing the vessel to engage several targets simultaneously.
France and the UK both developed their own heavy naval missile systems, the Masurca and Sea Dart, but these are no longer in production. BAe is working on a limited improvement scheme for the Sea Dart. This includes a new fuzing system.
Several heavy naval surface-to-air missiles are in service with the Soviet Navy, but none of the current production models have been exported. The longest-range weapon is the vertically-launched SA-N-6 Grumble, a derivative of the land-based SA-10. Tested at sea on the trials vessel "Azov" (a Kara class cruiser), this massive weapon is now carried by Kirov class battle cruisers, Slava class cruisers, and the last Kiev class carrier. The SA-N-7 Gadfly is a derivative of the land-based SA-11 system, and serves on Sovremenny class destroyers, each of which has six Front Dome fire-control/target-illumination radars serving two rapid-fire single-rail launchers. This configuration is obviously aimed at dealing with saturation attacks, suggesting that the SA-N-7 should be seen as the Soviet equivalent of Aegis.
Short-Range SAM Systems
Three highly successful weapons dominate the market for short-range systems - the BAe Rapier, Thomson-CSF/Matra R.440 Crotale and the Euromissile Roland. Each is in service with around a dozen export operators. All use command to line-of-sight guidance, and are now being developed into more advanced forms.
In the case of the Rapier, development is following two routes. For the British forces, BAe is developing the Rapier Field Standard C (also known as Rapier 2000). Due to enter service in the early 1990s, it will introduce an eight-round launcher with four launch rails per side, a steerable spherical housing for an optronic tracker (in the location used by the surveillance radar on current systems), plus a trailer-mounted Siemens Plessey Dagger 3-D radar. This new ground equipment will fire two new versions of the Rapier missile. The Mk.2A with a fragmentation warhead and active IR proximity fuze is intended to deal with small targets such as RPVs, anti-radiation missiles and cruise missiles, while the Mk.2B has a contact-fuzed hollow-charge warhead able to destroy strike aircraft and heavily armoured attack helicopters.
A new round is also a feature of the private venture Laserfire system, a vehicle-mounted Rapier system based on a laser autotracker. This can use the standard Mk.1 missile, but the newer Mk.1E combines the traditional impact fuze with a private venture IR proximity fuze designed for use on export rounds.
The Crotale already exists in several versions, including the Cactus (used by Chile and South Africa), the basic and widely exported Crotale itself, the AFV-mounted Shahine supplied to Saudi Arabia, and the ship-mounted Crotale Naval (deployed first in the 8B and 8S forms, and now available as the lightweight modular 8 MS system). In 1983 a Saudi order for an improved version of the Shahine was announced. This has a longer-range surveillance radar, a data-link able to accept information from a Litton TSQ-73 command and control centre, plus a new electromagnetic proximity fuze for the missile.
During the US Army's FAAD-LOS competition in the mid-1980s, LTV and Thomson-CSF teamed to offer a Crotale derivative known as Liberty. This used a new high-velocity wingless missile known as the VT-1. The Liberty was not selected by the US Army, but the new missile was used as the basis of the Crotale Nouvelle Generation, a system whose first orders came from Finland and the Netherlands.
A similar development process has upgraded the Euromissile Roland Initially fielded in vehicle-mounted form, the Roland 2 is now also available in shelter-mounted form. Mounted on a 10-tonne MAN eight-wheeled chassis, the FlaRakRad was developed to defend Luftwaffe, Marineflieger and USAFE air bases in West Germany, replacing earlier Vulcan and Chaparral systems. Trials of the improved Roland 3 started in 1982. This has an uprated boost motor, improved proximity fuze and a more powerful warhead. Cruise speed is increased to Mach 1.6, permitting it to engage manoeuvring targets at a range of 8 km, also giving better coverage of receding targets. Identical in size to the older model, the new round retains the same electrical and mechanical interfaces, allowing it to be fitted to existing fire units, but Euromissile also offers a new four-round Roland 3 turret which could be used as a direct replacement for the standard two-round version.
Increasing Speed and Accuracy
As the data table which accompanies this article shows, most light surface-to-air missiles have a top speed of between Mach 1.5 and 2.5, but the need to engage multiple attackers and targets flying at very low level, to minimize exposure time and to counter anti-radiation missiles, has resulted in a trend towards higher missile speeds (see Box on Shorts).
France and Germany have as yet no equivalent to the hypersonic Shorts Starstreak but plan to add hyper-velocity to the Crotale and Roland. The first development to be announced was the Matra/MBB MISSAT (Munition Interoperable Sol/Surface-Air Teleguidee). Intended as a mid-1990s upgrade to the Crotale, Crotale Naval and Roland, this took the form of a highly-manoeuvrable round with a top speed of Mach 4. Aerospatiale, Matra and MBB have now teamed to create a 12 km-range Mach 5 version of the Roland for service starting in 1995, designated RM 5. Development of a Crotale class system is also under way in South Korea, with Thomson-CSF providing technical assistance to prime contractor Daewoo Heavy Industries. Test firings of the Chun Ma could begin in 1992.
Active radar seekers carried close to the target by inertial or command guidance are a promising solution to the problem of engaging low radar cross-section targets such as cruise missiles and next-generation fighters. For this reason, an active seeker is proposed for West Germany's TLVS (Taktisches Luftverteidigungssy-stem), a light system being studied by MBB, AEG and Siemens for Luftwaffe service from 2005 onwards. Fired against short-range targets, this will operate in active radar mode for the entire flight. At longer ranges, the missiles will respond to mid-course guidance commands transmitted by the ground-based radar, locking on to the target in the later stages of the attack in order to home under active radar control.
Although the US Army did select the Roland in the mid-1970s as its mobile surface-to-air system, only a small number of systems was bought, and those were issued to the National Guard rather than the regular Army. Following a competitive shoot-off in 1987, the Army chose the Oerlikon/Martin Marietta ADATS (Air-Defence/Anti-Tank System) to meet the requirement for a Line-Of-Sight Forward Heavy (LOS-F-H) air-defence missile system. The US Army chose to mount this laser beam-riding weapon on the Bradley M3A3 tracked vehicle, and designates the system Linebacker. Canada, the first nation to order the system, chose to base its fire units on the M113A3 APC.
As the name implies the ADATS is not just an anti-aircraft system, but can also destroy tanks. A similar dual role is planned for the Boeing/Hughes Fiber-Optic Guided Missile (FOG-M) currently being developed as the Non Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) component of the US Army's Forward Area Air Defence (FAADS) system. This will be able to counter air targets operating beyond the range of point-defence systems such as the Stinger. Two FOG-M systems are planned, one based on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the other on the tracked chassis used by the MLRS artillery rocket system. The FOG-M will be the first SAM system to use optical fibre guidance. In flight, the missile will dispense the fibre from a bobbin in much the same way that an anti-tank missile such as TOW or HOT dispenses a trailing wire. Imagery from a LLTV camera or a IIR imager mounted in the nose of the missile will be fed into the fibre, and will be displayed in the launch vehicle. At ranges of up to 10 km from the launch point the aimer will be able to use the camera to locate a suitable target, on which the missile may home. Test flights have already resulted in hits at ranges of up to 9.5 km.
Combined Naval and Land-Based Systems
The first Soviet Crotale/Roland class weapon was the SA-8 Gecko, a system which has proved popular on the export market. Like the West European weapons, it uses SACLOS guidance. The SA-8A version has two ready-to-fire rounds on launch rails located on each side of the Land Roll H/J band fire-control radar. On the SA-8B version, three missiles are carried on each side. These are housed in launcher/containers, and probably have folding tail surfaces. The Gecko will eventually be replaced by the new SA-X-15, a land-based version of the naval SA-N-9 system This use of a single design for land and ship installations is a common Soviet practice. The SA-N-4 Gecko and its Pop Group fire-control radar are shipboard versions of the SA-8 and Land Roll, and like the latter have proved a popular export item.
The main anti-aircraft armament of Udaloy class destroyers is the SA-N-9 vertically-launched missile. Developed to replace the SA-4, it takes the place of the latter on the third and fourth Kiev class aircraft carriers. Development was protracted, but the weapon is now in operational service and exists in the land-based SA-15 form mentioned earlier.
The nearest NATO equivalent to the SA-N-4 is the Seasparrow. Originally deployed in the Seasparrow BPDMS (Basic Point-Defence Missile System) form, this has largely been replaced by two more modern systems. The NATO Seasparrow Surface Missile System (NSSMS) was originally based on the RIM-711 missile rather than the AIM-7E used in the BPDMS, but now uses the mono-pulse-guided RIM-7M or the new RIM-7P. The most common variant combines the Mk.29 lightweight eight-round launcher with the Mk.91 fire-control system and the Mk.51 target-illumination radar, but nations such as Belgium, West Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey use their own fire-control systems in place of the Mk.91. A vertical-launch version has been adopted by Canada and the Netherlands. Raytheon has studied wingless, tail-controlled Evolved Sea Sparrow designs for possible service in the mid and late 1990s.
Some operators field land-based Seasparrow systems, and Sparrow rounds can
also form part of the Contraves Skyguard, a private venture fire-control system in which a shelter-mounted X-band radar can control medium-calibre anti-aircraft guns and/or guided missiles. First test launches took place in October 1980 using AIM-7E and AIM-7F Sparrow missiles.
Selenia's Albatros is broadly similar to the NATO Seasparrow, but uses the company's Aspide missile in single-director (Mk.1) or twin-director (Mk.2) systems based on four or eight-cell launchers plus fire-control equipment from different manufacturers. At least fifteen nations have adopted the system. Aspide missiles are also used by the Selenia Spada, a point-defence system in service with the Italian forces since 1983.
China's equivalent to the Seasparrow is the CPMIEC HQ-61, the weapon carried by Jiangdong class frigates. Like the Western missiles mentioned above, this uses semi-active radar homing. It is also marketed in a truck-mounted form for land use. India is about a third of the way through its programme to develop a system for naval and land use. Known as the Trishul, this probably uses radar-based command to line-of-sight guidance. Flight trials of the Akash ram-rocket-powered medium range missile should have started last winter. This operates in conjunction with a phased-array ground radar, and probably uses radar command to line-of-sight guidance. The system is expected to enter service in 1993.
BAe's Seawolf naval missile has evolved through several versions, the original "double-ended" GWS25 version having been followed into service by the GWS25 Mod 3 (which uses the compact Marconi Type 911 radar tracker rather than the bulky and heavy Type 910), and the GWS25 Mod 2 which teams the 911 tracker with a lightweight four-barrel launcher. The GWS26 Mod 2 Lightweight Seawolf is the version selected to arm the Invincible class light carriers and Type 42 Batch 3 destroyers, while the Mod 1 is the vertical-launch version developed for the Royal Navy's Duke class (Type 23) frigates. This combines the Type 911(2) tracker with 32 canister-mounted missiles which incorporate a tandem booster with thrust-vector control.
Another vertically lunched missile is Israel Aircraft Industries' Barak. This has been on trial since the mid-1980s, and production deliveries could begin next winter. In its basic form, the weapon uses radar-based SACLOS guidance, but an active radar seeker is reported to be under consideration for future versions.
The technique described earlier in this article of guiding a missile via an optical fibre is also being considered as a method of defending submarines from ASW aircraft. MBB proposed a sub-launched variant of its Polyphemus anti-tank system, and fibre-optic guidance could also be used in a reported new Soviet submarine-launched light missile.
The obvious IR homer on which to base a lighter vehicle-mounted system is the veteran AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile. This was the approach taken by Ford Aerospace when it developed the MIM-72C Chaparral for the US Army. At first this used the basic Sidewinder model of the day, but by the early 1980s a new version of the missile offered around double the range. The basic concept of the Chaparral has been copied by other systems. Fire units for Bodenseewerk Geratetechnik's trailer-mounted Shorad SAM system carry four launch rails for the AIM-9L Sidewinder and a remotely-operated TV camera. China's equivalent is vehicle-mounted and based on its PL 9 Sidewinder clone. All such basic point-defence weapons face problems in target detection and acquisition, and some Chaparral modifications have addressed this issue. The United States have developed a FLIR sensor for the launch vehicle, while Israel has equipped its systems with the Aramit threat-designation system, which includes electro-optics for target observation and identification.
Like the shoulder-fired Stinger, the Chaparral is being fitted with a new electronic warfare-resistant seeker operating on two wavelengths. This is known as the Rosette Sean Seeker. Dual-wavelength seekers have also been developed in the Soviet Union. The first surface-to-air missile system known to use a unit of this type was the SA-13 Gopher vehicle-mounted system. Unlike the American Chaparral system, this does not use a modified air-to-air missile, but a custom-designed round of canard configuration, as did the earlier SA-9 Gaskin.
Passive infrared homing can also be combined with other forms of guidance. The General Dynamics RIM-116A RAM light naval system combines passive radar and IR homing, while Toshiba's truck-mounted Type 81 Tan-SAM system fires a missile which uses an autopilot for the first portion of its flight, switching to IR homing once it has managed to acquire post-launch lock-on. Range, hit probability and resistance to countermeasures are all due to be upgraded by the Tan-SAM Kai programme, which includes the development of an active radar seeker.
One problem with all shoulder-launched systems is the modest size of warhead which such a light weapon can carry. The existence of heavily armoured threats such as the Su-25 Frogfoot and Mi-24 Hind was one factor which led France to opt for the Mistral pedestal-mounted weapon. In keeping with current design practice, this uses a dual-frequency seeker head, in this case provided by SAT. The Mistral is also offered in other forms. The Santal is a vehicle-mounted version, while the Sadral is a light system for the French Navy. The modest size and weight of the basic missile allows its use in many patterns of mounting, such as Matra's new twin-round systems - the Atlas pedestal-mounted variant and the Albi retractable turret for light AFVs - or the Lama and Simbad shipboard systems.
The other Western pedestal-mounted system is the Bofors RBS70 laser beam-rider. The current RBS70 Mk 2 introduced digital guidance electronics, a more powerful sustainer motor and a heavier warhead incorporating a hollow charge plus fragmentation pellets. When teamed with a remotely controlled twin-round launcher incorporating TV and IR cameras, this missile provides the day/night firepower of the RBS90 system. A group of four to six launchers can be controlled by a single radar-equipped fire-control vehicle. Bofors is now developing a larger point-defence missile for service around the year 2000. The RBS 3 Bamse will have a range of about 15 km and will use radar beam-riding guidance operating on around 35 MHz. Ericsson will provide its Giraffe radar for surveillance and a new design for target tracking. Bofors will develop the missile using technology proven by the RBS 70 and RBS 90 programmes.
The guidance techniques used for heavy and medium surface-to-air missiles are not suitable for lightweight short-range systems intended for frontline use. The easiest way of creating a weapon of this type is to rely on passive IR homing, the approach taken by the Redeye and the Soviet SA-7 Grail. Both weapons have since been followed by improved designs. In the United States, the General Dynamics FIM-92A Stinger entered service in the early 1980s. Rounds shipped to the Afghan rebels later in the decade played a major role in blunting the effectiveness of Soviet air operations. These rounds were fitted with IR seekers, but the current production weapon is the Stinger-POST (Passive Optical Scanning Technique) whose seeker uses an electronic warfare-resistant image scan optical processing system.
During US Navy escort operations in the Persian Gulf during the late 1980s, the Stinger was carried aboard USN warships. It also equips the Boeing Avenger, the Line-Of-Sight Rear (LOS-R) component of the US Army's Forward Area Air Defense (FAADS) system. Based on the <<Hummer>> High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), this combines eight Stinger missiles and a 0.5 in. calibre heavy machine-gun with a Magnavox FLIR and a Texas Instruments eye-safe laser ranger.
Developments based on the Soviet SA-7 have taken several routes. China's CPMIEC HN-5 was probably a close copy of the Soviet original, but the company now offers the improved HN-5A version featuring a cooled seeker offering greater detection range and better background noise rejection, plus a more powerful warhead. Egypt's Ayn as-Saqr (Saqr Eye) was developed with the help of Thomson Brandt, and incorporates a Teledyne-developed seeker in the missile. Changes to the fire unit include a digital processor in place of the original Soviet analog system, plus a Rank Pullin night sight and Thomson-CSF IFF system. Yugoslavia recently released details of its own upgraded SA-7, which incorporates miniaturised guidance electronics and a larger warhead.
The latest Soviet man-portable missiles are the SA-14 Gremlin and SA-16. The Gremlin introduced digital guidance electronics, a seeker able to lock on to approaching aircraft, and a heavier warhead than that of the SA-7. The SA-16 is a longer and heavier weapon and is thought to be more effective against manoeuvring targets. It is puzzling that two near-identical missiles should have been developed. Several versions of both missiles are known to exist, some of which may be export models.
Air-to-surface missiles such as the AGM-65 Maverick home onto the image of the target, but the principle has yet to see service in a surface-to-air system. The first weapon of this type will be the Toshiba/Japan Defense Agency Keiko, a missile whose seeker technology has already attracted attention in the United States. Based on charge-coupled device (CCD) technology, the Keiko seeker is a dual-wavelength unit operating on visible light and IR wavelengths. Toshiba is known to be working on what is described as a "light-wave combined guidance system". This could be intended for a follow-on model of the Keiko, or for a new 3-5 km range system based on the Keiko and mounted on a Toyota 4WD Land Cruiser wheeled vehicle. Development of this mobile system is expected to take three years.
New SAMs for NATO
Several collaborative development efforts are under way within NATO to develop next-generation surface-to-air missiles. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1988, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom carried out feasibility studies of a Family of Naval Anti-Air Missile Systems (FAMS). These would include systems for point, area and medium-range defence. Under a separate agreement, Canada, West Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States conducted feasibility studies of a short-range naval system known as NATO Anti-Air Warfare System (NAAWS), with four US-led international industrial teams studying potential designs. Under another agreement signed in April 1988, France, Italy, Spain and Britain are collaborating on Independent European Program Group studies of the Medium Surface-to-Air Missile (MSAM), a weapon able to replace the Improved Hawk. Cancellation last year of the proposed NFR-90 frigate (the main launch platform planned for NAAWS), and a British decision to join the FAMS programme, have resulted in delays to the US-led project, although work is continuing.
On FAMS, the European industrial team now set up consists of Aerospatiale, Selenia, Thomson-CSF, BAe, GEC Marconi and the Spanish organisation Ibermisil. The French and Italian companies are already working on the FSAF (Famille de Sol/Surface Air Futur) programme, which involves the SAAM point-defence missile, the SAMP-T replacement for Improved Hawk and the SAMP-N long-range naval surface-to-air missile. The first of these would be based on the Aerospatiale Aster 15 missile, the latter two on the Aster 30 (effectively the same missile as Aster 15, but with a larger booster stage).
Project definition work will investigate the creation of the definitive FAMS missiles from a series of common components. This will include the Point Defence Missile System (PDMS), and the Local Area Missile System (LAMS). The new missiles are certain to be based on the Aster, Aerospatiale and Selenia acting as lead contractors. French Navy SAAM systems will use the Thomson-CSF Arabel radar, while Marconi is working with Selenia to develop the Empar multi-function radar. This could be used with Italian Navy SAAM systems and with the longer-ranged LAMS.
The Royal Navy intends to rely on Seawolf for point-defence, and so is primarily interested in a local defence system. In its current form, the SAAM meets the Royal Navy LAMS requirement in terms of low-level anti-sea-skimmer performance, but not the required maximum range - well beyond that of the Seawolf, but less than that of the Sea Dart. There is as yet no formal British requirement for the SAMP-N as an eventual Sea Dart replacement. [Tabular Data Omitted]
PHOTO : The VT-1 round first developed for the Liberty tracked derivative of Crotale has a top
PHOTO : speed of Mach 3.5.
PHOTO : Mounted atop the high power radar, Northrop's Tracking Adjunct System (TAS) enables the
PHOTO : Improved Hawk to track enemy aircraft passively.
PHOTO : The missile cruiser "Bunker Hill" fires a Standard MR missile from its Mk. 14 VLS.
PHOTO : The development of the Rapier 2000 has been protracted. BAe and the MoD mutually reproach
PHOTO : one another for the delays.
PHOTO : Euromissile's FlaRakRad (wheeled AA missile system) is a version of Roland in service with
PHOTO : the Luftwaffe.
PHOTO : Jointly developed by the USA, W. Germany and Denmark, the General Dynamics RAM (Rolling
PHOTO : Airframe Missile) combines IR and passive radar guidance.
PHOTO : Bofors pioneered the pedestal-mounted light SAM, such as the RBS70 Rayrider (shown above)
PHOTO : and the RBS90, both longer ranged than shoulder-fired SAMs.
PHOTO : The ADATS combines accurate laser beam-riding guidance with a speed well above that of
PHOTO : Roland, Crotale or Rapier.
PHOTO : The Stinger has been in production at General Dynamics since 1978, but improved seekers
PHOTO : still make it a formidable weapon, as shown in Afghanistan.
PHOTO : BAe has completed development of its Laserfire system and is now conducting demonstration
PHOTO : firings.
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|Date:||Aug 1, 1990|
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